Central Texas teen humbled by trip to National High School Rodeo Association competition

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT
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CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) - Brooklyn Balch, 17, a student at Yoe High School in Cameron, placed 10th in goat tying last week at the National High School Rodeo Association’s competition in Lincoln, Neb.

Competitors ride to a tethered goat, dismount, catch and throw the animal and then tie any three of its legs together,

“Humbling,” she said. “I felt very honored because a lot of kids from Texas don’t get to come because a lot of our kids from Texas don’t make it,” she said.

Balch advanced to nationals after winning the Texas High School Rodeo Association’s event in June.

And in Nebraska she put on quite a show.

“I got second in the first round and first in the second round,” Balch said.

Balch’s time in the second round ended up being the fastest time in the entire rodeo, which is why she says she was somewhat disappointed in how it all ended.

“The short-go didn’t go as planned,” Balch said.

“I came in at number one leading it by a second but in the short run I didn’t have the goat I needed. The goat was harder and kicked a little bit.”

The high school athlete’s ride into history in the rodeo arena has been decades in the making.

Brooklyn’s mom, Tammy, a teacher in Cameron, also competed in goat tying along with barrel racing and breakaway roping.

Brooklyn says she credits her mom for much of her success.

Her grandmother, Debbie Jones, helped breed the horses that Tammy still helps break and ride to this day.

And Debbie often serves a driver to rodeos when Brooklyn’s mom and dad, Eric, the defensive coordinator at La Vega High School, can’t make it.

Brooklyn says the event demands the most athleticism.
Brooklyn says the event demands the most athleticism.(Courtesy photo)

Like her mom, Brooklyn also barrel races and does breakaway roping but says goat tying is probably her best event.

She likes it because it allows her to showcase her athletic abilities.

“It’s a lot with how athletic you are and a lot of girls who are tall and uncoordinated can’t do it. It’s different than the other events,” she said.

“So, it’s fun and it’s cool to show how athletic you are.”

Her skill takes lots of repetition and tons of practice.

“I usually try to tie in some way a little bit probably not every day, but almost every day. I don’t try to burn myself out,” she said.

And it’s paying off.

In 2018, Brooklyn advanced to nationals and won the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association’s All-Around Cowgirl and goat tying event.

She also qualified for nationals in ribbon roping and pole bending, and her success has led to a sponsorship by Don Ringler Chevrolet.

A few weeks ago, Brooklyn won the Texas FFA rodeo taking home a $2,000 scholarship, which Brooklyn hopes will come in handy as she plans to rodeo somewhere.

Brooklyn said while placing 10th in the nation is no small feat, she’s already got her eyes set on single digits and is wasting no time working for it.

Wednesday she was rodeoing in Sweetwater, escorted by her grandmother.

And from there, she heads to the prestigious Best of the Best Rodeo in New Mexico.

“Coming from Texas it’s so tough and I was pretty confident I was going to win it, but God had other plans and now we’re going on to bigger and better things and hopefully next year I’ll win it at nationals.”WACO, Texas (KWTX) -

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